ANNUAL SUNRISE GATHERING ON ALCATRAZ ISLAND MONDAY OCTOBER 13th 2008
California: The annual Sun-Rise Gathering at Alcatraz Island will
take place on October 13th, 2008. The Sunrise gathering reflects on
516 years of Indigenous Peoples Resistance to European Invasion.
(1492-2008) This year's event is titled "Celebrating our Survival
and Challenging the Myth of Columbus and 'Doctrine of Discovery.'"
Love dilemma for Caribbean people
Dominica: Chief Charles Williams of the Carib (Kalinago) has a
drastic solution for protecting Kalinago heritage: tribal members
should not marry non-Kalinago people. "The impact of colonisation
has been so strong on us that if we do not take steps to protect the
race, it will be soon become extinct," Williams said. The Kalinago
are an ancient Caribbean tribe famed for their skills in sailing and
warfare. They lived through the worst of colonisation, disease and
slavery, and it's a minor miracle that any survived. Today, only
3,000 Kalinago remain on Dominica. Many elders and leaders support
Chief Williams's views. "Well, for some people this is a ticklish
issue," says Miranda Langlais who believes Kalinago women hold the
key for survival. She also blames them in part for the tribe's woes.
"You go out there, you see a nice white guy and you fall in love.
[But] you have to stick to your people, you have to stick to your
traditions, and that's the only way." However many youth, like
17-year old Arnique Volmand, want to leave the poverty on the
tribe's 3,700 acre territory. "They want us to stay here to marry
our own tribe but I don't think that will happen," she said. "They
cannot tell us what to do. If we want to be pilots or nurses, we
have to leave the island." Some Kalinagos are trying to find a
middle ground. Minister for Carib Affairs Kelly Graneau describes
himself as an internationalist. "The world is getting smaller and
smaller, it's almost at our doorstep." Mr Graneau hopes Kalinago
youth will leave the Dominica to be educated, then return to Carib
territory with ideas, knowledge and sense of hope. Other Kalinago
are finding new ways to help their people. 21-year-old Che Fredrick
holds his people's traditions dear. He plans to market Kalinago
herbal tea and medicinal plants. "Our culture is very important.
Basically I'm finding ways to create sustainable employment for the
people of our community," he said. Che is not alone. He is one of
many society members there who are bright, educated and determined
to return the Kalinago people and ancient culture to the world map.
Tradition_OF_The_Redroad] Digest Number 6691
Many Cherokee Following
Ancient Traditions Of Balance And Harmony
Cherokee Reservation, North Carolina: While Isaac Welch's BIA card
says he belongs to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee, it's his hat
that shows his spiritual path. A small metal feather is pinned on
the crown, and a black feather juts from the hatband beaded in a
red, yellow and black coil that looks like a Scarlet King Snake.
Those signs reveal Welch to be a warrior, a messenger and a man of
peace. "We are not a religious people, we are a spiritual people,"
said Welch, a full-blood tribal member and elder in the Yellow Star
Society. For the Cherokee and other tribes, worship is a daily way
of life, not just on holidays or in special places. "Everything we
Cherokee do is religious. We danced to balance the earth," said
Raven Hail, a 79-year-old Cherokee from Oklahoma.
"Cherokee" as written in the Cherokee Syllabary.
Is written and pronounced as "Tsa - la - gi." [g as in
go, i sounds like ee]
The English word, "Cherokee," is a corruption of that
Thoughts from the Cherokee:
"The hardest thing for Native Americans is [to] unlearn
Judeo-Christian English concepts and concrete terms." Isaac Welch,
"Cherokee Spirituality is not just for the Cherokee, but for all the
children of Mother Earth. The mountains have not been asleep, but
the people have been deaf, dumb and blind. There is a reawakening
of Cherokee spirituality." Raven Hail, Western Cherokee
"Survival depended on the land -- you had to respect it. But I
think that's true of everybody's ancestors, whether Indian or
Celtic. We are all interconnected." Marijo Moore, Cherokee
"This was the first group I knew I was accepted in. This is where I
learned that the warrior is himself a spiritual person." Deane
Killion, Cherokee, Yellow Star Society
"[The traditions] have to be passed down by word of mouth to keep
them alive." Shim Welch, 14, Cherokee
"Everything on Earth is a mirror image of something in the sky,"
Raven Hail, Western Cherokee
[Some non-Indians} "they think they can get this in a weekend, that
doing a sweat will make you a shaman. It's not something you can
buy or become. Having a dreamcatcher doesn't make you an Indian.
You're either born an Indian or you're not." Marijo Moore,
Government of Canada Creates New Reserve in the NWT
Northwest Territories, Canada: Canada has created the Salt River
First Nation Indian Reserve #195, the first NWT reserve granted in
almost 35 years. “This is a historic day for the Salt River First
Nation,” said Chief Frieda Martselos. “... It is a great day for the
people of the Salt River First Nation and First Nations in general.
A big 'thank-you' to those who negotiated the agreement and to all
the people who made it a reality.” The agreement sets aside 430
square kilometres of reserve lands at numerous sites in and around
Fort Smith,. In additional 13 square kilometres (five square miles)
of reserve lands were set aside in Wood Buffalo National Park. The
creation of the Salt River First Nation Indian Reserve fulfills part
of a treaty agreement signed by the Salt River First Nation, the
Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories
on June 22, 2002.
Salt River First Nation Indian Reserve #195:
Native American Panel Loses Chairman
Vermont: The chairman of Vermont's Commission on Native American
Affairs has resigned. Commission Chairman Mark Mitchell said he was
frustrated by the Legislature's refusal to pass a law recognizing
the state's three bands of Abenaki Indians. While the bill passed
the Senate, it was not considered by the House.
Border Wall endangers Indigenous Peoples ceremonies and cultures
Yaqui Reservations, U.S. Mexico Border: Growing restrictions along
the U.S./Mexican Border are interfering with the Yaqui tribe's
ability to preserve their culture and ceremonies. Jose Matus says
U.S. Yaqui ceremonies can only be maintained through Yaquis from
Mexico who still use their language, knowledge, and traditions.
Matus began his 35-year effort to maintain U.S Yaqui ceremonies by
bringing in ceremonial leaders from Sonora, Mexico. Until now, he
and border officials worked together to establish Yaqui border
policies. But the fight against terrorism and illegal immigrants
is making it more difficult. “Now, Homeland Security is getting
very, very strict. As time goes by, legislation changes and
attitudes change ... That has affected all the [Yaquis] who have
relatives in Mexico. Now [the restrictions] are destroying and
dividing the Tewa and Kumeyaay ceremonial grounds,” he said,
referring to the Tewa near El Paso, Texas, and the Kumeyaay in
California and Mexico. “For national security reasons, we can not
bring our elders across the border for ceremonies. We are all
terrorists as far as they are concerned. They put us through all
these obstacles as we try to cross that border."
IUPUI professor's reburial of Native American remains earns
Indiana: Larry J. Zimmerman, a professor at Indiana
University-Purdue University of Indianapolis, has been awarded the
international Peter J. Ucko Memorial Award. Four Native American
archaeologists nominated Zimmerman for "paving the way for a
generation of Native Americans to believe we could join this
profession without having to sacrifice our deeply help moral beliefs
about our rights and responsibilities as Indigenous people"
Zimmerman's early career decision to rebury Native American human
remains was, at the time, considered academic suicide. Times have
changed, and his early actions earned him the award for important
contributions to archaeology.
Exploring Native American Repatriation Act at UCSD Teach-in
California: On October 13, the University of California/San Diego
will offer a panel discussion about NAGPRA (The Native American
Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.) NAGPRA is a federal law
passed in 1990. It requires museums and Federal agencies to return
certain Native American cultural items, including human remains and
sacred objects, to their tribes, descendents, and Native
organizations. Any remains found on federal land must be returned
to their tribe or that with the closest cultural affiliation.
of Golden Hill Paugussett tribe dies
Paugussett Reservation, Connecticut: Aurelius H. Piper, Sr.,
hereditary chief of the Golden Hill Paugussett Indian Tribe, has
passed away on the tribe's reservation. He was 92. Known as Big
Eagle, Piper was named chief in 1959 by his mother, Chieftess Rising
Star. He later took over residence and care of one of the tribe's
two reservations -- a 1/4 acre reservation in Trumbull. Though
small, the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe has been recognized by
Connecticut for more than 300 years. In 2004, however, the federal
Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected the tribe's request for federal
The Asiatic Fathers of America
Washington, D.C.: Many years ago, the late Dr. Hendon M. Harris, Jr.
made a startling discovery: he found an
ancient Asian map book from
2200 BC that included a world map showing land east of China. The
land mass was labeled "Fu Sang." Today that land mass is called
"America." After further research, dozens of supporting maps were
discovered, and in 1973, Dr Harris published "The Asiatic Fathers of
America." Soon, however, Asiatic Fathers went out of print, and the
map collection was stored under a bed. In 2003, the Harris family
took the maps to the Library of Congress. Now, after studying the
research, DNA evidence, and other studies, experts are beginning to
support Dr. Harris's conclusion: the Chinese came early, and they
came by sea. Harris, who was born in China to American parents,
grew up speaking Chinese and English and was familiar with the
Chinese classics which, for many centuries, discussed Fu Sang in
detail. Today, most Chinese today believe Fu Sang was just myth,
but the Chinese maps, classics, and similarities with American
Indians give new insights to this topic.
"The Asiatic Fathers of America" Read excerpts:
japan Officially Recognizes Ainu
In an historic breakthrough, Japan's Diet [legislature] has
unanimously passed a resolution pressing the government to
recognize the Ainu as indigenous people. "We are thrilled," said a
tearful Tadashi Sato, director of the Ainu Cultural Centre in
Hokkaido. "This is the first time the government has recognized us
as indigenous people. We appreciate it." The resolution asks Japan
to officially recognize the Ainu as a people with a unique culture
and language, and to create policies that address their problems. If passed, it would also end Japan's false claims that it has no
minorities and " therefore is not practicing discrimination," says
Andrew Horvat, a professor at Tokyo Keizai University. "In fact, the
treatment of the Ainu over the past 150 years by the Japanese
majority is no different from the sad history of aboriginal peoples
in the U.S., Canada or Australia." About 200,000 Ainu live
throughout Japan. Most live on the northernmost island of Hokkaido.
According to a 2006 survey, the rate of Ainus living on welfare is
more than three times the national average. The proportion of Ainu
receiving higher education was 1/3 the national average.
Smithsonian's Ainu people online exhibit:
Find a forgotten past
Kenneth C. Davis is the author of a best-selling book, "Don't Know
Much About" series. An section called "hidden history" enlightens us
to the past. Among his insights:
In the 1775 Revolutionary War battle on Breed's (Bunker) Hill, Dr.
Joseph Warren fell was killed by a British musket ball. A promising
colonial officer promised to provide for them. His name was Benedict
infancy was not a love fest between the Pilgrims and American
Indians. Instead it was filled with problems and bloodshed, often
leading to murder because neither believed in the other's theology.
At times, the religious persecution topped what the colonists fled
England to avoid
In the 1500s, Spanish soldiers in Florida massacred French settlers
because French were "infidel Lutherans." The French retaliated.
What the French probably were, Davis argues, is the real first
pilgrims. The Mayflower batch didn't show up for decades.
In the 1700s, thousands of colonists and American Indians died in
King Phillip's War. It began after flimsy evidence led to the
execution of three tribesmen accused of murdering John Sassamon.
Sassamon was a Harvard University-educated "praying Indian."
Was George Washington a war criminal? In 1754, Washington was a
young English officer in the Ohio Valley. Half King, an important
Seneca leader, persuaded Washington to attack a small French
encampment. The French defeated Washington but gave him a formal
"parole. " However, a Frenchman was soon killed. Some accused
Half-King for the murder, but Washington signed a letter confessing
to the crime. For the rest of his life, he swore he didn't
understand what he had signed.
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